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Kate and William arrive in Tuvalu

Published: 5:53AM Tuesday September 18, 2012 Source: ONE News

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are wrapping up their Royal Pacific tour in the tiny island nation of Tuvalu.

The Royal couple left the Solomon Islands this afternoon where they were forced to put on a brave smile amid the topless photo scandal. 

Their lawyers have formally begun the process of bringing criminal charges against the photographer who sold topless pictures of Catherine to a French magazine, which published them last week.

ONE News Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver, who has been travelling with the royal couple in the Solomon Islands, told Breakfast that despite the scandal, William and Catherine are putting their all into their tour.

"With the pressure of the photographs being published overseas, if William ever had any doubts about how his new wife would cope with some of the pressures that come with that new role they'd be completely dispelled. She's been pretty amazing," Dreaver said.

She cited an example when Catherine spoke to the young children of New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands yesterday.

Dreaver said she pointed to the children who were standing next to her and had been waiting for hours, wanting to meet Catherine.

"And she happened to glance over and saw my finger pointing down at the children. And she actually walked over, crouched down and started asking them where they're from, what their names were.

"And she said that she'd always wanted to come to New Zealand and she can't wait to when she does. And she was just lovely.

"I mean it does show the strength of  the woman, I think, that she's able to put that aside and have an absolutely fantastic time here showing warmth and courage and strength, I think."

Catherine and William stayed at an exclusive private island last night away from the glare of the international media.

Today they leave the Solomon Islands and travel to Tuvalu where their engagements include meeting primary school children, visiting the University of the South Pacific Tuvalu Campus and watching a canoe race between island communities.

William and Catherine have already visited Singapore, Malaysia and Borneo as part of their nine-day southeast Asia and Pacific tour to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Criminal complaint

French magazine Closer ran 11 topless pictures of the Duchess last week, the Irish Daily Star also published the images and Italian magazine Chi said it was running a 26-page spread of the couple's holiday in France.

A St. James's Palace source said: "Papers for the criminal complaint have been filed this morning in France. It is now up to the French prosecutors to decide whether to investigate and pursue the complaint."

The complaint was made to the French Prosecution Department and "concerns the taking of photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge whilst on holiday and the publication of those photographs in breach of their privacy", the spokesperson said.

The decision to lodge a criminal complaint came as royal lawyers argued a civil case at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre in Paris to have editions of the French magazine withdrawn.

The couple's lawyer told the court the scenes shown in the photographs were private, and it would only have been possible to capture the photos with a long lens.

Lawyer Arleen Hamlet told the court in Paris that the photographs of Catherine sunbathing at a French chateau had "no place on the cover of a magazine", the Daily Mail reported.

Hamlet urged the court to ban the republication of the images and to ban their resale saying they were a "highly intimate moment during a scene of married life", the report said.

She drew a parallel with the death of William's mother Princess Diana 1997 after she was chased by paparazzi.

The court adjourned a decision until tomorrow morning, but the Duchess and Duke think they have an "open and shut" civil case, the report said.

Most lawyers seem to agree that under strict French law the pictures do represent an undisputed breach of privacy.